EC chief: Unhappy? Take us to court

Malaysiakini, 21 March 2007
Election Commission (EC) chairperson Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman today lambasted those who criticised the commission without proof.
It was obvious that his statements were mainly directed at opposition parties, who have for long accused the commission of not being independent and favouring the ruling Barisan Nasional.

On numerous occasions, several opposition leaders have also called for Abdul Rashid to resign.
“They accuse us of not being transparent, without any proof. We are transparent… They (the disgruntled quarters) must show proof,” the EC chief was quoted as saying by Bernama.
“If they are uneasy with (how we manage) the elections, take us to court,” he added.
Elaborating, Abdul Rashid said it was explicitly stated in Article 118 of the Federal Constitution that disputes pertaining to the running of elections should be handled by the Elections Court.
The EC chief was speaking to reporters in Putrajaya after announcing the nomination and polling dates for the Machap by-election in Malacca.
The April 12 by-election for the state seat, which is a traditional stronghold of the ruling MCA, was called following the death of incumbent Poh Ah Tiam, 55, last Thursday.
Possible boycott
Meanwhile, when quizzed on the possibility of the opposition boycotting the contest similar to what they did in January’s Batu Talam by-election in Pahang, Abdul Rashid was not overly concerned.
He said such a move would be the prerogative of the respective parties.
“If they want to boycott, boycott lah. What can I do? My job is to prepare the machinery and the arena for the rakyat to take party in the elections,” he added.
Abdul Rashid said the EC functions within the scope of available laws and parties that are unhappy with the laws should question them.
PAS and PKR had boycotted the Batu Talam polls in order to press for electoral reforms.
For Machap, however, PKR and DAP have already expressed their interest in contesting for the seat.